Republican Convention Approves Platform Opposing Abortion, Assisted Suicide

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 31, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Republican Convention Approves Platform Opposing Abortion, Assisted Suicide Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 31, 2004

New York, NY ( — Delegates to the Republican convention in New York on Monday gave final approval to the 93-page platform that opposes abortion and supports President Bush’s policy against using tax dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research.

The platform retains language advocating a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would afford legal protection to unborn children throughout pregnancy.

"As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," the platform reads.

The Republican Party has supported a pro-life amendment to the Constitution since 1976, the first convention after the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

The platform also highlights one of the stark contrasts between the president and Democratic nominee John Kerry: judicial nominations.

While Massachusetts senator John Kerry has confirmed that he will not appoint judges to federal courts who will overturn Roe, Bush has nominated numerous pro-life advocates to key federal appellate court positions.

"We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life," the platform says.

Attorney Jim Bopp, who has done legal work for numerous pro-life organizations, told the platform was "the strongest pro-life platform the Republican Party has ever adopted."

"The Republican Party is unified around its pro-life position. There was much less dissent on the pro-life issue than ever," Bopp explained.

However, pro-abortion Republican groups oppose the platform language and are disappointed that a unity plank acknowledging differences some party members may have with certain sections of the platform didn’t single out abortion as a contentious issue.

The GOP platform also states the party’s opposition to funding abortions with tax dollars, providing practical support to pregnant women, "for whose difficult situation we have only compassion."

The platform lauds crisis pregnancy centers, promotes removing barriers to adoption, and backs parental notification before teenagers can have an abortion.

The Republican platform also takes positions on assisted suicide and stem cell research.

It backs the Bush administration’s effort to ensure that federally-controlled drugs can’t be used in assisted suicides in Oregon. All of the patients who have died under the state’s lone pro-suicide law have used such drugs.

The GOP platform also includes language backing President Bush’s August 2001 policy prohibiting the federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research.

"We strongly support the president’s policy that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to encourage the future destruction of human embryos," the proposed language reads.

Despite objections to the policy as a so-called "ban," the Bush administration has spent $190 million funding the use of adult stem cells, which are considered a more ethical and effective alternative.

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